Turn of the Wheel
The first idea I had this week was to concentrate on bass and drums, emphasizing toms and avoiding the snare. Initially I wasn't sure if I'd include guitar at all. I'd come up with some syncopated rhythms in Ableton's 64 Pad Kit Jazz drum rack, and put a long-decaying Echo send on it. (At the end, I gave the drums a bit of Max Humanizer.)
I put down some bass lines with my usual Epiphone P-J bass (with EQ-8 roll-off below 120 Hz), and then realized I wanted another track of bass, higher on the neck, to respond to the first track. (That second track of bass got EQ-8 bass rolloff with a higher shelf.)
Then I'd thought I should have something else in there for sonic variety, but wanted to change things up a bit from recent tracks. So I grabbed the Heit Deluxe I keep in Turkish baglama tuning (Gg DD Aa), and put down two tracks of improvisations against the bass lines. (It's going through an EHX LPB2ube with the left and right channels cascaded into one output.) One channel got some high-pass Auto-Filter with drive, and the other didn't have any additional in-Ableton processing. Both got sent to a room-sized convolution reverb (along with the drums and bass).
In arranging, I thought to do some reversing of some of the Heit chords, and sent that track to a return channel with Valhalla Supermassive. And the stereo mix got multiband compression with Ableton's Full Chain effect rack.
Title comes from the number of years in three Saros cycles of solar and lunar eclipses; this is apparently called a Triple Saros or exeligmos--the turn of the wheel.
I wanted to go in a different direction this week, and picked up the bağlama-tuned Heit Deluxe (like this one, but not as clean and in a red-burst), and came up with the main riff. I recorded that to the shaker, and ended up with about three minutes. During the week, I added percussion (tambourines, hand drums), hand-claps (MIDI), and a trap-set kick drum in an effects rack with two parallel high-pass filters--one to accentuate the beater, and one to accentuate the resonance of the shell. I also recorded a number of other guitar lines to respond to the initial one, and to extend its length a bit, editing them into a structure.
Tuning: GgDDAa, played with fingers. Each guitar channel got different degrees of Auto-Filter, one of them bandpass, two high-pass, with different degrees of drive. I also used a bit of filtering/drive on the hand claps and hand drums. Rather than auto-panning most things, I left most things statically panned, and just auto-panned hand claps and some percussion in time with the track, to set up a call-and-response effect. I did add a bit of delay on the claps, but most atmosphere is from two convolution reverbs (one small space, one larger)--my idea was to keep it as much like a field recording as I could.
The master channel got Full-Chain Master for compression/limiting.
Title comes from the history of the bağlama--since it comes from the saz used by the Azerbaijani Ashiqs, whose name is related to the Avestan root iš-, which means "to seek" or "to search."